Former Wallabies star Quade Cooper’s attempted genius has backfired spectacularly and condemned Souths to a Queensland Premier Rugby semi-final defeat on Sunday.
Souths trailed Easts by one point with 13 minutes remaining when they received a penalty right in front of the posts at Ballymore.
Cooper picked the ball up right as the referee blew the whistle, and the 30-year-old immediately looked at the posts.
But it was all a ruse.
As he spoke to the referee and the other players on the field waited for him to line up a shot at goal, Cooper had actually already made up his mind.
“I’m going to kick it to the corner,” he could be heard telling the referee as he veered his eyes left and kicked off zero steps.
Incredibly, it almost came off.
A Souths winger caught the ball in the in-goal and went to ground as one alert Easts player attempted to stop him.
“Oh, are you kidding me?!” one commentator screamed.
Souths players celebrated but the other commentator laughed and appeared to question whether it would be awarded.
“That is brilliant! There’s no TMO here,” he said.
But the touch judge quickly informed the referee that the Souths player landed dead and it would be Easts ball.
“There were millimetres in that, he just went too far,” the commentator said.
“No one had any idea what was happening until… oh, that would’ve been all time.”
Unfortunately, the fact that it backfired did not do Cooper any favours.
He did get another chance to put Souths ahead just a couple of minutes later.
His penalty goal from more than 40 metres out missed left, however, condemning the fly-half to villain status as Easts went on to win 25-17.
“It’s been a great season,” Cooper said on Monday.
“To see where our team’s come from last year, the growth that we’ve had, it’s been enjoyable and I’ve had a great time and I’m really proud of everyone.”
Cooper said he plans to see out the last year of his contract with Rugby Australia, adding that he would “love” to pull on a Wallabies jersey again.